You will often read about the value of getting stronger – the list is almost endless. Improved hormonal response, myofibrillar hypertrophy (most guys training for ‘size’ stimulate sarcoplasmic hypertrophy) and possibly enhanced fat burning capabilities around the clock. Sounds awesome, right!? However ‘’getting’’ stronger is another ball game – how do you actually progress your lifts frequently. Yes, we all want to get stronger but doing it is another story, surely?!
Below are three easy to apply tips on how to increase your strength gradually.
1 – Increase Your Number!
Pick one compound exercise which covers each area of your physique. This might mean deadlift for back, weighted dips for chest, military press for shoulders, squats for quads, stiff leg deadlift for hamstrings. Of course, in there your arms are taking a hammering so don’t worry about those in this instance.
With each exercise do one all out set to failure for 4 reps. All you are concerned about is getting 5 reps with the same weight next week and then 6 reps the week after. Once you have achieved this move away from those movements for a week, hit an extra high volume week of training and then return to the same format. This time increase the weight you use by around 5%. This should work for 8-12 weeks before you will need to use new tactics to prevent your strength from stagnating.
2 – Get Fast!
A lot of people fail to move more weight because they have the explosive capacity of a biscuit! In order to lift big you will need to deploy your FAST twitch fibres and to do so you will need to be explosive during the concentric lift. Doing this alone will add to your strength!
3 – Accessory Work!
It isn’t just about the actual lifts but using exercises which build the supporting muscles. A lot of strength development will come from building strength within muscle groups such as the long head of the triceps and hamstrings. Glute ham raises, close grip pushdowns, single leg press, close grip bench press are all good choices here! These in turn will contribute towards better squats, deadlifts and bench press!
To conclude getting stronger requires you to gradually increase the intensity of your training, focus more on speed and being explosive and finally increase the capacity of muscle groups which support the big lifts!